Ceiling Zero

  • Film
  • Action and adventure
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Something of a try-out for the later Only Angels Have Wings, this adaptation of a stage-play about mail pilots braving not only the elements but their own failing powers may suffer from a certain claustrophobic theatricality of setting, but Hawks keeps both his abiding interests (the tensions and loyalties within an enclosed group, the need for professionalism and a responsibility towards others) and his brisk narrative style to the fore. Cagney is superb as the devil-may-care flier whose womanising imperils the whole operation; O'Brien supplies solid support as the boss who ensures Cagney's belated redemption. Less complex and lyrical than Angels, but more than enough to go on with.

Release details

Duration: 95 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Howard Hawks
Screenwriter: Frank Wead
Cast: James Cagney
Pat O'Brien
June Travis
Stuart Erwin
Isabel Jewell
Barton MacLane
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